Mini-Cassette (1967 – )

The Mini-Cassette (or minicassette) is a magnetic tape cassette format introduced by Philips (who also introduced the Compact Cassette) in 1967. Unlike the Compact Cassette and Microcassette, the tape is pulled past the head by the reels rather than a capstan, enabling the Mini-cassette to be mechanically simpler and smaller, but meaning tape speed (2.4 cm per second) is not as constant and quality is only suited for voice recording.

Although mainly used for dictation, the Mini-Cassette was also used in the Philips P2000 home computer for data storage, where it could store 42 KB, and a variation was used by Hewlett-Packard, the HP 82176A Mini Data Cassette, for use with its 82161A mini-cassette tape drive, where the capacity was 130 KB.

A Mini-Cassette of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 can be seen in the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, but the Mini-Cassette was not used for music recordings (unlike the Microcassette).

Mini-cassettes are still used for dictation and transcription.

Sources / Resources

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Preservation / Migration

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